Monday, June 21, 2010

The Limits Of Control 2009

There is no doubt in my mind that Jim Jarmusch is a talented and intriguing director who made one of my favorite films of the 90’s Dead man. However his latest film “The Limits of Control” is a hit and miss affair with Jarmusch juggling many genres in the thin air along with references to film, literature and pop culture plus obtuse interludes with secondary characters who are captivating and intriguing in various degrees. This game or rebus of a movie is ostensibly about a cool detached hit man played by the cool detached actor Isaach De Bankole who has a preference for tight form-fitting iridescent blue suits and purple shirts, and is on a mission that at times seems impossible for the viewer (me) to deal with. Jarmusch holds off letting us know who De Bankole is going to hit until the final minutes of the film, and by that time I could care less and had me thinking “all of that for this?” The movie begins conventionally enough with an airport scene where the lone man, as he is known gets his puzzling philosophical instructions from two operatives who are lounging about and who send him on his way to Spain to do the job. Not so fast because the game is just beginning. In Spain the lone man visits museums where he views paintings which soon appear as objects and clues that the mysterious secondary characters give to him after asking the question “You don’t speak Spanish, do you?” By the 3rd or 4th time we hear this ludicrous question, I was ready to scream or fling my ice cream sandwich at the television. They also exchange cute little matchboxes, which contain writings on small pieces of paper, and in one case diamonds. Tilda Swinton shows up in a blonde wig and cowboy hat, looking like John Kelly in his Joni Mitchell drag and gives a small talk about how she loves movies. Swell and great we all love movies and this one is so overloaded with movie references that I swear it started to tilt to one side of my television screen. I immediately thought of Welles (who Swinton also refers to) and of course Godard and Hitchcock. One of the operatives who turn up is a sweltering nude hot babe (just before she shows up the lone man is seen viewing a painting of a nude young woman in the museum, and how cool is that) who tries to seduce the lone man in having sex with her, which he won’t do, because he doesn’t have sex when working. This reminded me of the Godard “Laziness” sequence in Seven Deadly Sins in which Eddie Constantine is too lazy to have sex with a seductive young thing. Contempt also comes to mind. The game goes on and on and I wasn’t exactly bored as I was numbed by the repetitiveness of the plot. John Hurt and an awful looking Gael García Bernal pop up in cameos as does Bill Murray who is the big bad capitalist and prey for the lone man. The highlight of the film is the lush deep color saturated cinematography by the great Christopher Doyle.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter